"It's not the years, it's the mileage": Raiders of the Lost Ark turns 40 this weekend
On June 12, 1981, Raiders of the Lost Ark introduced the world to a new kind of action hero: a college professor by day, swashbuckling archeologist by night, by the name of Indiana Jones.
Harrison Ford became iconic as the man in the hat -- ironic, considering he wasn't the first choice to play the role. Tom Selleck was, but his Magnum P.I. contract wouldn't allow it.
Based on a story from Lucas and his pal Phillip Kaufman, the first Indy film opened in 1936 South America. A golden idol Indy just swiped from a booby-trapped shrine gets stolen from him by his old nemesis René Belloq [BELL-ock], played by Paul Freeman.
Freeman's character orders the local natives to catch Jones -- but in reality, the actor revealed to ABC Audio, he was ordering something different. "George said they hadn't they hadn't written anything. They didn't know what language they were going to speak."
"Make something up," Lucas recommended.
Freeman recalls with a laugh, "What I actually said...was 'Make mine a BLT' -- of course, I have to dub [the line] later to get the right thing -- and then the natives run away!
Karen Allen played Indy's hard-hitting -- and hard-drinking -- love interest, Marion Ravenwood. She recalls, "Harrison I had a great time...trying to find the right that kind of perfect love-hate relationship between those two characters."
"Working with 7,000 snakes, that certainly left an impression on me," she adds, laughing.
Raiders of the Lost Ark became 1981's top-grossing movie, raking in nearly than $390 million worldwide. It earned eight Oscar nominations and five wins, including one for John Williams' unforgettable score.
To help you celebrate Raiders' 40th birthday, the 4K Ultra HD Indiana Jones 4-Movie Collection just hit stores.